Host of Philly Revival Explains the Power of Design-Driven Renovations

On today’s episode of the AEC Podcast, we were joined by Rachel Street, host of the DIY Network’s Philly Revival. who pulls from her experiences as a design professional to explain what it takes to flip homes and why the Philadelphia real estate market is so unique.

Street’s career path has been pretty unconventional. Her dream was to be an opera singer, but in her youth, she had her first brush with construction working on carpentry projects with her dad. After a career as an opera singer in Italy, she came back to Philadelphia and jumped into real estate.

“I came into the real estate industry doing underwriting for commercial properties, but I had a real interest in residential. So, I became a residential broker and got started renovating houses as a contractor,” Street said.

While she was busy starting her business renovating and selling homes, she learned a lot about what works. “Most renovators think that neutral is the best way to go and that everything should be cookie-cutter. I think the opposite. I am focused on design-driven renovations. I look for personality and charm in houses and try to bring that out,” Street said.

After building a successful career, the opportunity to host a DIY show came, and she was excited to share her vision with others. She also found that other women were working in construction, and needed media that represented their work authentically. “Before the show, I hadn’t met many women in the field. Now, I’ve been able to grow a community of women who have the same love for renovating that I do,” she said.

Street also loves working in Philadelphia because of its culture and history. “There are so many unique neighborhoods and older homes to renovate, which I love. I want to honor the history but also add in some modern elements.”

Give this podcast a listen for inspiring ideas on the trends Street is seeing in home design, how sleek materials like quartz (from companies like HanStone Quartz) are powering the design-driven renovation mentality, and why she thinks color is critical to a successful flip.

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